2013 NHRA: Matt Hagan AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Matt Hagan may have lost the second leg of the six-race marathon known as the Countdown to the Championship, but he's still the overall leader in NHRA's Funny Car category.
Hagan qualified No. 3 after rain shortened the typical four qualifying sessions to two with the Dickie Venables-tuned Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
After an opening round win with a 4.081-second pass, quicker than his best qualifying run of 4.093-seconds, Hagan was paired against DSR teammate and reigning Funny Car champion Jack Beckman.
Hagan's Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car lost traction at half-track and Beckman went on for the round win, ending Hagan's day early.
"It's like anything; you can't get your head down," Hagan said. "You win as a team, you lose as a team and you move forward as a team. I'm looking forward to getting to the next race. This one is behind us now and we just have to keep digging deep and working hard."
Despite the second-round loss, Hagan will take the points lead to the third consecutive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series race next week near St. Louis. Hagan has had possession of the points lead since the June event at Englishtown, N.J.
"I don't want it to come off like we are being super positive about losing second round because it's tough but it's just another race," Hagan said. "This is only the second race of the Countdown and there's a lot of racing left. It's like anything, sometime you have an off day.
"I still have all the confidence in the world in this group of guys. We will dig our way right back. If you harp on it and worry about it, it won't do you any good. That's the thing about this deal, they do a great job and it's a consistent race car and it's going to continue to be that way. The book is already written, it's just a matter of reading and sometimes you don't like all of the chapters."
MATT HAGAN, Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying position: No. 3
First round: HAGAN (4.081, 311.27) def. Arend (4.173, 304.53)
Second round: Beckman (4.131, 304.19) def. HAGAN (4.486, 248.84)
Session 1: 4.203, 300.06
Session 2: 4.093, 312.78
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Sept. 22 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,272 (--)
2. Cruz Pedregon 2,221 (-51)
3. Robert Hight 2,209 (-63)
4. John Force 2,208 (-64)
5. JACK BECKMAN 2,196 (-76)
6. RON CAPPS 2170 (-102)
7. JOHNNY GRAY 2,155 (-117)
8. Courtney Force 2,141 (-131)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,089 (-183)
10. Del Worsham 2,068 (-204)
2013 REGULAR SEASONS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight.
(times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 -Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 - Texas Motorplex, Dallas (Finals: TF/ Doug Kalitta def. Shawn Langdon; FC/Cruz Pedregon def. John Force
Sept. 27-29 - Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 - Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 - Auto Club Raceway, Pomona